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Turf War

GDPR

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So what is it all about? Well I'll let Michael Fitzmaurice explain his side of things and then add my own tuppence worth,

As Chairman of TCCA, I have consistently campaigned for the Rights of domestic turf cutters to cut their own turf for their own use, on their own turf banks.

It would appear that when ministers and bureaucrats come together, common sense goes out the window. Small Scale Domestic Turf Cutters require only 2% of the area of bog currently designated . This miniscule amount of bog will last each family for approximately 200 years which is the epitome of sustainability. Sustainability has three pillars, Social, Economic and Environmental but the Social and Economic pillars have been totally disregarded by the EU and successive Irish Governments.

The TCCA have demonstrated how the objectives of the Habitats Directive can me met, while at the same time providing for the needs of small scale domestic turf cutters. All that is required now is a little goodwill and flexibility.

Successive governments have not addressed this issue and as a result, we the people have been left with no option but to assert and defend our rights.

Together with my colleagues and Turf Cutting Communities represented by the TCCA, I will continue this battle until justice is attained for all involved.
Working with TCCA | Michael Fitzmaurice Independent

On RTE yesterday he was asked basically why the hell would you not go into government over turf, sure it's only a local gombeen issue. Well it's not. As the map below of the designated conservation areas shows it's a national issue. These conservation areas have been designated by previous Irish governments in consultation with the EU. Those habitats for birds, flora and fauna have been identified as unique and considered to need protection.



In short, development in these areas require planning permission or marine license that would be exempt from planning in other parts of the country. Any plan or project would require an ecologist's report to determine whether, in this instance, cutting turf for families would be ok or not, and receive a planning or relevant permit, or not. So I would therefore surmise that the advice that Fitzmaurice has received has said yeah, it's ok, whereas the advice from officials is saying, that no it is not. In this instance, the ecologist would examine that area to be cut, determine, whether or not those flora and fauna are present in that area, and if not, how would the proposed work impact on the protected flora and fauna, if at all.

So I would have more sympathy with Fitzmaurice and the turf cutters, than is present in the Dublin dominated media, who are largely ignorant of the issue at hand. Thoughts?
 
Last edited:


Sister Mercedes

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Roscommon has barely an adult left under 30 years of age, and this tulip thinks turf-cutting is the most important issue for his county.
 

GDPR

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Roscommon has barely an adult left under 30 years of age, and this tool thinks turf-cutting is the most important issue for his county.
It's largely a rural issue, and he is the chairman so he's fully entitled to take up the cause. Is it the most important national issue, no, but still it remains. You will notice that a large swathe of Dublin Bay is designated, so it has (not the turf bit) relevance there also.
 

Cato

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Roscommon has barely an adult left under 30 years of age, and this tool thinks turf-cutting is the most important issue for his county.
He's more east Galway than Roscommon but your point stands.

Fitz makes, or at least used to make, part of his income from cutting turf for others (not in some quaint traditional manner but using large machinery). Any other TD using his political office to so directly promote his own financial interests would be rightfully hammered for it in the media.

As to cutting turf: it's not a sustainable fuel source and is destroying a rare habitat. It's time to call a halt to it.
 

wombat

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I spoke to a turf cutter about his right to cut turf and was quite sympathetic until he explained the method, quantity and end use. Its not cut by hand by a family for their own use but with a JCB and sold by the trailer load to others. I also question the fools who designated peat as a smokeless fuel, suitable for burning in smokeless zones.
 

GDPR

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Many rural houses get their fuel locally from turf. Most of it is from non protected bogs. No more than oil, it will eventually run out. I'd have zero sympathy for cutting these bogs for commercial use, but I do have some sympathy for their own use. Now maybe he's talking out both sides of his mouth with self interest to boot, but he is entitled to make his and his supporters view point known and it is perfectly understandable as to why he could not 'give' on this issue.
 

drummed

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EU legislation is implemented and policed by the local administration, not the EU itself which has very limited capacity to police anything. How these sort of rules are put into practice can vary widely depending on where you are.

This often appears to me to be the problem. Its inconsistent across the EU. I have some experience of EU legislation as applied to agriculture in Italy and farms there have a totally different version of what in theory should be the exact same rules as apply Ireland.

Point is, i'm sure there's a lot more flexibility in these matters than is usually allowed and it all depends on how the local administration interprets the rules. Ireland tends, for unclear reasons, to take the most extreme and unhelpful possible interpretation of such things and try to impose that on us. When it goes wrong then we get the mantra 'its an EU rule' as an excuse. Except that's not really true as faming in Italy proves.

Blaming the EU is the ultimate cop out for poor local administration and is a big feature of such debates in Ireland. Its lazy and dishonest and allows bad local management get away with ridiculous administration.

There's usually a lot of flexibility in most EU legislation but our public service rarely bother to use it as its all too much trouble and it seems confusing for them. A very different attitude applies in Italy. That's been my experience after observations of a farm in Italy many years ago. I'm sure nothing has changed since.
 

gatsbygirl20

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I spoke to a turf cutter about his right to cut turf and was quite sympathetic until he explained the method, quantity and end use. Its not cut by hand by a family for their own use but with a JCB and sold by the trailer load to others. I also question the fools who designated peat as a smokeless fuel, suitable for burning in smokeless zones.
But up until very recently many, many families hand-reared turf. It had a social aspect as well as providing fuel.

It wasn't just some old-world gombeen thing
Teenagers and young family members away at college would come home and work with their families--or help neighbours and get paid for it. Neighbours worked near each other on the bog. It's difficult to explain its cultural importance to non-rural folk.

The machine cut the turf but the families reared it by hand. The bog would have belonged to the family for generations. The amount cut and saved would be small

Environmental regulations always seem to focus on the small guy. Like the way I can't read a book at night because of those useless "green" light-bulbs. But I see office blocks with their lights on carelessly, and public and private buildings flood-lit all night
 

GDPR

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Jul 5, 2008
Messages
224,089
EU legislation is implemented and policed by the local administration, not the EU itself which has very limited capacity to police anything. How these sort of rules are put into practice can vary widely depending on where you are.

This often appears to me to be the problem. Its inconsistent across the EU. I have some experience of EU legislation as applied to agriculture in Italy and farms there have a totally different version of what in theory should be the exact same rules as apply Ireland.

Point is, i'm sure there's a lot more flexibility in these matters than is usually allowed and it all depends on how the local administration interprets the rules. Ireland tends, for unclear reasons, to take the most extreme and unhelpful possible interpretation of such things and try to impose that on us. When it goes wrong then we get the mantra 'its an EU rule' as an excuse. Except that's not really true as faming in Italy proves.

Blaming the EU is the ultimate cop out for poor local administration and is a big feature of such debates in Ireland. Its lazy and dishonest and allows bad local management get away with ridiculous administration.

There's usually a lot of flexibility in most EU legislation but our public service rarely bother to use it as its all too much trouble and it seems. A very different attitude applies in Italy. That's been my experience after observations of a farm in Italy many years ago. I'm sure nothing has changed since.
National Parks and Wildlife Service are the quango in charge and they love to sit on their hands and not give an answer. These areas have been designated for a long number of years now, and they're still not anywhere near finishing their definite reports and recommendations for each of these conservation areas. Why is this important? So that whoever is interested has a definitive answer on what is protected, where and what you can and cannot do. Another shower that need a good kick up the arse and do their bloody job. This I'm sure in part is what the turf cutters are on about.
 

RodShaft

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But up until very recently many, many families hand-reared turf. It had a social aspect as well as providing fuel.

It wasn't just some old-world gombeen thing
Teenagers and young family members away at college would come home and work with their families--or help neighbours and get paid for it. Neighbours worked near each other on the bog. It's difficult to explain its cultural importance to non-rural folk.

The machine cut the turf but the families reared it by hand. The bog would have belonged to the family for generations. The amount cut and saved would be small

Environmental regulations always seem to focus on the small guy. Like the way I can't read a book at night because of those useless "green" light-bulbs. But I see office blocks with their lights on carelessly, and public and private buildings flood-lit all night

Our political systems and every other system is set up to facilitate the big guys. That's life.

From minor hurling finals being postponed or moved to facilitate concerts, to tax relief for big corporations.

Money talks. Always has. Always will.
 

drummed

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National Parks and Wildlife Service are the quango in charge and they love to sit on their hands and not give an answer. These areas have been designated for a long number of years now, and they're still not anywhere near finishing their definite reports and recommendations for each of these conservation areas. Why is this important? So that whoever is interested has a definitive answer on what is protected, where and what you can and cannot do. Another shower that need a good kick up the arse and do their bloody job. This I'm sure in part is what the turf cutters are on about.
Most legislation is years in the making and local administration is well aware a long way in advance what is emerging. Ireland is poor at engaging with this process despite the guff we often get about how we are tuned in to the EU. In truth we usually ignore new or pending legislation for as long as possible and hope it goes away, then panic and implement it in a half-baked way when are forced into it at the last minute. This is our usual tactic.

As you say this problem is brewing many years but absolutely nothing was done about it to ease the change to more sustainable use of bogs. Instead, we have a nuclear moment and it goes from a free for all to a complete shut down over night. The norm for us. This is yet another typical mess mostly created by ourselves. And water will go the same way eventually.

Its very frustrating dealing the various bodies concerned with these matters who are at best indifferent, at worst incompetent. Its very frustrating to hear the old 'EU rules' line trotted out over and over. Much of the administration in Ireland is lazy, indifferent, inconsistent and downright unhelpful.

I have no real involvement with bogs by the way. We have none in Kilkenny as far as I know. Never been on one, never had turf. But its the same with a lot of these matters.
 

drummed

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Be better if the department of quango's would busy themselves figuring out to how get broadband to 90% of the country or maybe arranged a meeting of that emergency flood group who haven't met since 1932.

Probably too occupied spending 15 years drawing up an environmental impact statement or counting butterfly's regarding a 2.5 acre bog somewhere in Roscommon.
 

Fractional Reserve

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Roscommon has barely an adult left under 30 years of age, and this tulip thinks turf-cutting is the most important issue for his county.
It save them money on keeping warm in the winter . It may not be a national issued but its important at a local level for people in Roscommon and other places in bog turf cutting regions.The Dublin 4 fancy dan waffler save the snail bulshyte doesn't ware.
It should be dealt with at local level , but the Eu have made a song and dance out of it .
 
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I don't have any discernible view on the issue raised in it, but the OP is unusually well crafted.
 

drummed

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It save them money on keeping warm in the winter . It may not be a national issued but its important at a local level for people in Roscommon and other places in bog turf cutting regions.The Dublin 4 fancy dan waffler save the snail bulshyte doesn't ware.
It should be dealt with at local level , but the Eu have made a song and dance out of it .
Nope, the EU tends to be remarkably realistic about such matters in my experience. Look elsewhere for the source of the problem.
 

valamhic

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The bigger issue is the theory of man made climate change (AKA Glowbull Warming). There a a new department called Communication and Climate Change which could be re-named communications and the weather. If taken seriously we could see fossil fuel banned and we will be back to the horse and cart. Its medicine is wind farms and and solar farms which don't work. It was never mentioned in the election campaign, so there has to be some one from outside driving it. One independent TD is in charge Denis Naughton and one questions the theory in Dail Eirean
VIDEO: Danny Healy-Rae's unique views on climate change has got a lot of people talking | JOE.ie

VIDEO: Danny Healy-Rae's unique views on climate change has got a lot of people talking | JOE.ie
 

derryman

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So what is it all about? Well I'll let Michael Fitzmaurice explain his side of things and then add my own tuppence worth,



Working with TCCA | Michael Fitzmaurice Independent

On RTE yesterday he was asked basically why the hell would you not go into government over turf, sure it's only a local gombeen issue. Well it's not. As the map below of the designated conservation areas shows it's a national issue. These conservation areas have been designated by previous Irish governments in consultation with the EU. Those habitats for birds, flora and fauna have been identified as unique and considered to need protection.



In short, development in these areas require planning permission or marine license that would be exempt from planning in other parts of the country. Any plan or project would require an ecologist's report to determine whether, in this instance, cutting turf for families would be ok or not, and receive a planning or relevant permit, or not. So I would therefore surmise that the advice that Fitzmaurice has received has said yeah, it's ok, whereas the advice from officials is saying, that no it is not. In this instance, the ecologist would examine that area to be cut, determine, whether or not those flora and fauna are present in that area, and if not, how would the proposed work impact on the protected flora and fauna, if at all.

So I would have more sympathy with Fitzmaurice and the turf cutters, than is present in the Dublin dominated media, who are largely ignorant of the issue at hand. Thoughts?

If turf cutting were by and for sole families I would have sympathy.
But Turf are now a black market commodity. It seems to me it should be ended asap.
 

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